Patriots-Jets preview: 3 things to watch for on Sunday

Bilal Powell Jets Steve Gregory Patriots
Bilal Powell plunges into the end zone as Steve Gregory gets in one last hit against the Jets on Sept. 12. Credit: Getty Images

There will be no late-season drama between the Patriots and Jets this season, as the two face off for the second and final time in the 2013 regular season on Sunday in New Jersey (1 p.m., CBS).

The Patriots took the first game in an ugly Thursday Night Football Week 2 matchup, 13-10, which had Patriots fans shutting off their televisions more concerned than excited over the win. Now 5-1, the Pats may actually have more concerns than they in the hours following that rainy September night. For one, their defense is decimated with key injuries. Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo – two leaders on defense – are done for the year, and Aqib Talib – who was making a case for Defensive Player of the Year – hasn’t practiced yet this week due to a hip injury. That will certainly be a factor in Sunday’s outcome. Here are three more to look out for:

Running into problems
Stevan Ridley had his best game of the season last weekend against the Saints, rushing for 96 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries – all season highs.. But it would be a surprise to see those numbers against the Jets’ stingy rush defense. New York is second in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game at 75.7 and they lead the league in yards allowed per rushing attempt at 3.0. Jets coach Rex Ryan credits the “outstanding play” of defensive linemen Muhammad Wilkerson and Damon Harrison, among others.

“I think we’ve got an outstanding group in the front seven,” Ryan said. “They’re young, and they’re kind of maturing together.”

Getting to the rookie
In Week 2, the Patriots made Jets QB Geno Smith look like the rookie he is. Smith went just 15-for-35 for 214 yards through the air and tossed three interceptions. While Talib had two of the picks, there are plenty of other defensive players for New England who can step in and wreak havoc on Smith. It starts up front with the defensive line. Look for Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich to close in on Smith, but not allow him to scramble out of the pocket too often. With rushed throws, and a less-than-stellar receiving corps, the secondary should be able to get by without Talib … at least this week.

AFC Beast
Despite the Patriots’ less-than-ideal health situation, they should beat the Jets on Sunday. One thing New England always seems to do is find ways to win – and that’s especially the case in division play. In fact, the Patriots own a 61-15 record in regular season AFC East games since the beginning of the 2001 season, the best intra-division record of any NFL team. And when it comes to the Jets, they’ve gone 20-7 against them since 2001, and have won the last five meetings.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

Philadelphia principal has President Obama's ear

The West Philadelphia head is gathering ideas to present to the White House.

Local

Neighbors testify at Overbrook roommate slaying trial

Neighbors and roommates were called to testify Wednesday in the trial of Renaldo Robichaw, 56, charged with murder for the death of roommate Albert Smith, 48.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

Movies

Latin culture highlighted at Filadelphia film fest

Get ready to have a “Bad Hair” day at the upcoming Filadelphia Latin American Film Festival. We mean that in the best possible way. The…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

NFL

Eagles will spend Thanksgiving in Dallas, play four…

The Eagles have an impressive, challenging and exciting schedule in 2014.

NFL

NFL releases Eagles 2014 schedule

The Eagles have four primetime games, face the Cowboys on Thanksgiving and host the Seahawks in a dynamic, challenging and impressive schedule.

NHL

All signs suggest Steve Mason will start in…

Flyers head coach Craig Berube elected to put Steve Mason in net for the final minutes of Game 3.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."